Despite a brief, career threatening dip in form with their second self-titled record, there is little denying that Killswitch Engage have consistently affirmed their superiority among the countless bands continuing to ape and dilute their sound. Welcoming original vocalist Jesse Leach back into the fold, 2013’s ‘Disarm The Descent’ was a miraculous recovery from the band, their signature anthems hewn from a jolt of creative adrenaline and rampant self belief. Further refining and expanding on their metalcore values, ‘Incarnate’ sustains the Massachusetts quintet’s belly-fire momentum whilst audaciously foraying into pastures new.
Indeed, with stand-out singles ‘Strength Of The Mind’ and ‘Hate By Design’ boasting all the hallmarks of their scene defining blueprint, these classic Killswitch rabble-rousers sit alongside an almost glam-inspired, arena sized ‘Until The Day I Die’ and the reflective melancholia of ‘We Carry On’, both examples of the band subtly plumbing hidden depths. Making for a decidedly less immediate record than we have seen previously, these redefining touches are triumphant additions nonetheless, the emotional clout of ‘Cut Me Loose’ and ‘It Falls On Me’ echoing the album’s emphatically darkened tone, all the while underpinned by that trademark KSE marriage of metallic venom and colossal chorus hooks.
Special mention although must go to aforementioned frontman and star of the show Jesse Leach, whose power-house performance is as impassioned and accomplished as any in recent memory. Veering seamlessly from wretched screams to glorious melodies, it is his unflinching conviction and phenomenal ability which ensures that Killswitch are set to continue outstripping their peers time and again. Given the time it deserves, ‘Incarnate’ will unravel itself as a captivating and fearless step forward for one of the twenty first century’s most valuable metal acts.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)